Carbon monoxide poisoning is not something we like to think about – in fact, we’d like to avoid the subject altogether whenever we can. Unfortunately, we have to talk about it, for two reasons: firstly, it’s too important for general and individual safety not to discuss it (in this case, ignorance certainly doesn’t mean bliss), and secondly, there are some simple things you can do to both avoid and recognise potential problems in this regard.
Remember that gas cannot be seen, can’t be smelled, but is potentially lethal – in several ways. It can also lead to serious property damage. It’s in everybody’s interest to be properly informed. Here’s how to be safe from carbon monoxide poisoning: everything you should know.
What is CO poisoning?
CO poisoning occurs when a person inhales too much carbon monoxide (CO) and thereby receives an unhealthy dose of the lethal gas. The gas is odourless and can’t be detected with the naked eye (invisible), and hence it often takes a while for the person to recognise that he or she is a victim of CO poisoning; often faulty installations and leaks are to blame.
Often the symptoms of CO poisoning resemble those of the flu, viral infections, or fatigue. However, they can occur quite quickly. Here are the main ones to watch out for:
- Fainting spells or collapse
- Loss of consciousness
What to do in case of risk
If you suspect that you, or a person near you, has been affected by CO and may be undergoing CO poisoning, it’s important to do the following as quickly as possible:
- Immediately open all doors and windows, and provide fresh air. Leave the building.
- Immediately get medical attention – get blood drawn for tests.
- Call authorities and notify the building manager to arrange for safety checks.
Check for warning signs
There are some warning signs you have to watch out for. Here are some:
- The flames of the gas tools are yellow or orange rather than a crisp blue
- There appears to be a dark staining around the appliances
- There’s increased condensation around the windows
- Pilot lights frequently go out.
Prevention is always better than the cure, of course, so make sure that you follow through on your legal obligation of having your gas appliances and installation inspected annually by a qualified commercial gas engineer London offers from firms such as Milgas – it’s a minor, routine inspection that costs you hardly anything in comparison with the potential fatal outcome if things get out of hand. Make sure to hire a registered and qualified gas fitter or engineer to perform the inspection. Do it properly, and everyone will be able to rest easier knowing everything is clean, proper, and – most importantly – safe.
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